February marked both Black History Month in the US and LGBT+ History Month in the UK. For us at HewardMills, these are important celebrations.

The origins of Black History Month in the US date back to 1926 when Carter D. Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History launched “Negro History Week” to promote the study of African American history as a discipline and to celebrate the achievements of African Americans. The week grew in popularity until 1970 when Black History Month was inaugurated (the UK followed with its own Black History Month in October 1987).

LGBT+ History Month in the UK coincides with the anniversary of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003, a law which banned the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools and by local authorities, and of the introduction of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 (now the Equality Act 2010), which prohibited employers from discriminating against employees on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Links between privacy and diversity

In this context, it is worth recognising the links between privacy and diversity. Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates the right to respect for a person’s private and family life, their home and their correspondence. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks; and in recent years, there has been growing traction around privacy as a free-standing human right, with Apple CEO Tim Cook declaring it as such.

In many societies around the world, LGBT+ rights do not exist. Privacy and data protection, particularly in the online context, are crucial tools in protecting individuals from undue interference with their private lives. The right to privacy allows people to develop their own identities, where this would not otherwise be possible. Similarly, data protection laws help prevent discrimination on racial grounds by placing restrictions on automated and biometric profiling.

Diverse by design

At HewardMills, we are diverse by design. We welcome staff from a wide range of backgrounds, of different ethnicities, genders and disabilities and we pride ourselves on our diverse client base.